FAQ page

Answers to the most common questions we have received

Why are there so few FAQs?
This is a new website and we haven’t been asked many questions yet. To tell the truth, we haven’t been asked this one at all.

How can I contact Bragi?
By email at sfbragi(at sign)gmail.com. General feedback is welcome and will be published in the future,

Where does the name Bragi come from?
Bragi is the Norse god of poetry and eloquence. The name was chosen for no particular reason. We pronounce it with the A as in star, the G as in go and the I as in this. We believe this is not correct.

Why are magazine contents sometimes listed in the same order as the table of contents, and sometimes not?
Stories appear in order of entry. Until the 1980s, Bragi’s comments were kept on system cards, listed under author names. These were entered into a database in author order. These days, contents of a magazine are entered into the database after an issue has been read and stories do align with magazines’ tables of contents. Some older magazines have been read recently.

Why are your magazine contents not complete?
Bragi’s database does not include articles, editorials, cartoons, book/film/game reviews, interviews, or other non-fiction material. Feghoots, Probability Zeroes and the like are included.

Why don’t you review poetry?
Bragi has been a voracious reader, but not of poetry, and he does not feel qualified to comment on poems.

Why do you change story titles sometimes? Could you tell us something about Bragi’s style and spelling policies?
The only change Bragi makes to titles is in using lower case rather than capitals (Jeffty is five not Jeffty Is Five, Beggars in Spain not Beggars In Spain). Bragi’s comments are written in British English (centre not center, colour not color, etc). Magazine titles are abbreviated. F&SF not Fantasy and Science Fiction or its earlier style, Analog not Analog Science Fiction & Fact or any of its many variations, Asimov’s not Asimov’s Science Fiction or its earlier versions, etc.

Are there spoiler warnings in Bragi’s comments on stories?
Bragi’s reviews are brief and generally do not discuss the plot of a story. Even if they run to several sentences, you can read them without danger of finding out what happens at the end of a story, or (usually) even the beginning.

Can you explain your rating system?

  1. Brilliant. Not many stories have this rating. Bragi has read and rated about 10,000 stories, and only about 50 have this top rating. If you agree with Bragi’s opinions, you will actively seek out these stories. To generate a list of them, click here.
  2. Excellent. Only about 500 stories in the database have a 7 rating. Many hours of reading pleasure await, if you agree with Bragi’s opinions. Click here for the list.
  3. Good. These are quality stories, well worth reading. More than 2,500 stories in the database have a Bragi rating of 6. Click here for the list.
  4. Ok. These stories are reasonable. If all the stories in a magazine are fives, you will be satisfied (maybe not delighted). Click here for the list (about 3,000 stories).
  5. Ordinary. Unfortunately, there are plenty of them (well over 3,000 in Bragi’s rated stories). Reading these stories is not quite a waste of time, but there are better things to do. Click here for the list.
  6. Mediocre. These stories (1,000 plus) are indeed a waste of time. Bragi’s followers will avoid these. Those who disagree with Bragi might find the list useful (click here).
  7. Bad. These stories are painful to read. Cardboard characters, ridiculous plots, dopey dialogue. It would be nice to say they’re so bad they’re funny, but any amusement from reading these stories is far outweighed by the tedium. If you really want the list of Bragi’s rating 2 stories (about 1,500) click here.
  8. Abysmal. Here we find the truly execrable and offensive stuff (more than 100 stories). Worse than painful, often with bad grammar and spelling. How this material gets into print is a real mystery. Click here for the list.